The Sopranos TV show was a 60 minute crime drama series on HBO about a Mafia boss (Tony Soprano), his band of criminal underlings, his family and friends. Like other organized crime series and movies, we saw the day-to-day underworld activities ... murders, protection money collections, etc. What set this TV show apart from the others was the in-depth look at the bad guys' personal lives. We saw Tony Soprano breakfast with his family in the morning, kill someone at noon, collect the days receipts at 2PM, visit his psychiatrist at 3:30, meet with his co-horts to plan future criminal activities at 5:00, and go to a PTA meeting at 7:00. This contrast between the evil crime boss, on one side, and relatively normal husband and father, on the other side, is what made this series unique.
The Sopranos Cast
James Gandolfini .... Tony Soprano
Nancy Marchand .... Livia Soprano
Dominic Chianese .... Corrado "Junior" Soprano
Jamie Lynn Sigler .... Meadow Soprano
Edie Falco .... Carmela Soprano
Robert Iler .... Anthony Junior Soprano
Lorraine Bracco .... Dr. Jennifer Melfi
Michael Imperioli .... Christopher Moltisanti
Tony Sirico .... Paulie "Walnuts" Gaultieri
Steven Van Zandt .... Silvio Dante
Maureen Van Zandt .... Gabriella Dante
The Sopranos Trivia
In the pilot episode of the Sopranos TV show, a group of senior citizens is seen watching an episode of, "The Rockford Files (1974)". David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos, got his first big job in the business as the producer/writer of The Rockford Files. David also based the character of Tony's mother on his own mother whose name is also "Livia". You can see David in episode #17, "Commendatori". While in Italy, Paulie speaks Italian to a man at a cafe and the man ignores him. That's David!
Dominic Chianese who plays Tony Soprano's uncle on the TV show also played mafia member Johnny Ola in the movie, "Godfather: Part II (1974)".
The "Bada Bing" strip club on the show is shot at "Satin Dolls" in Lodi, New Jersey.
The "Green Grove Retirement Community" is shot at the "Green Hills Retirement Community" in West Orange, New Jersey.
All of the characters on this HBO series own a Philips television sets. You think maybe they all "fell off" the same truck?
Actor Frank Vincent played Phil Leotardo on the series and killed someone in the trunk of his car while they begged him to let them live. Frank played a role in the movie, "Goodfellas" where he got killed in exactly the same way.
Actor Michael Imperioli who played Christopher on the Sopranos shot someone in the foot for being disrespectful in episode #8, "The Legend of Tennesee Moltisante". He also appeared in "Goodfellas" as a character who got shot in the foot for being disrespectful. By the way, besides acting, Michael whose character on the series is struggling to become a screenwriter, is also a screenwriter in real life!
In the beginning, there was some concern that viewers might think the title, "The Sopranos", meant that the show had something to do with singers. Other titles were considered but they finally decided to simply add a gun to the Sopranos logo.
Nancy Marchand (Livia Soprano) appeared in episode #28, "Proshai, Livushka", even though she had passed away before HBO began filming the episode. They graphically pasted her face on to a body double and used her words from previous Sopranos' episodes for the speech track. These special effects cost $250,000 for a very brief scene!
Tony Sirico (Paulie Gaultieri) would only agree to do the role if his character was guaranteed to never "rat out" the mob.
The Sopranos Theme Song
Written and Performed by: "Alabama 3" (From the UK)
You woke up this morning. Got yourself a gun.
Mama always said you'd be the Chosen One.
She said: You're one in a million you've got to burn to shine,
But you were born under a bad sign, with a blue moon in your eyes.
You woke up this morning all the love has gone,
Your Papa never told you about right and wrong.
But you're looking good, baby, I believe you're feeling fine, (shame about it),
Born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your eyes.
You woke up this morning the world turned upside down,
Thing's ain't been the same since the Blues walked into town.
But you're one in a million you've got that shotgun shine.
Born under a bad sign, with a blue moon in your eyes.
When you woke up this morning, when you woke up this morning,
When you woke up this morning, you got yourself a gun.
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